U.S. Offshore Wind
Key considerations for reliable interconnections
An exciting opportunity for the United States
Wind generation is already a favored and extensively used alternative-energy source in the U.S. However, opportunities to fully utilize the potential of onshore wind resources in North America are hampered by the large geographical distances between favorable mid-western wind resources and the large population centers near the east and west coasts where much of the nation’s electrical load is located. Enter offshore wind.
Although U.S. offshore wind projects are in their infancy compared with developments outside North America, energy firms are increasingly evaluating the potential of the offshore wind market.
Of course, offshore wind generation is not without its challenges, especially regarding interconnection to the electrical transmission grid. The existing U.S. transmission system was developed based on large, centralized fossil-fuel and nuclear-based power stations, which are typically located away from the coast. The load centers near the coast are at the edges of the existing transmission grid and there are few existing substations that are capable of accepting power from major offshore generation facilities for transmission to the loads.
This means that the interconnection and integration of large new offshore facilities into the existing grid is one of the more critical aspects of the future success of offshore wind. To reduce the risks associated with the interconnection of wind rich offshore areas, some key system and technology considerations must be assessed in order to ensure the most economic and reliable outcome. These include: power transmission type (AC or HVDC), offshore substation systems, onshore substation systems, power quality systems, and protection and control systems.
Download this free white paper to learn about some of the challenges as well as opportunities facing the u.s. offshore wind market today.